Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Have no fear! - Clarendon South East teams promising safety first

Published:Tuesday | September 1, 2020 | 12:21 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston /Gleaner Writer

With Jamaica’s COVID-19 cases rising, some residents have been expressing concerns about voting, especially with the latest announcement that persons confirmed with the virus will be allowed to vote.

But Patrick Mitchell, who sits on the management committee and is involved in on-the-ground work for the Jamaica Labour Party, said there is no need for fear as “every safety measure will be in place”.

Cognisant of the spike in the virus and how voters are jittery about it, he said he, in consultation with the incumbent Pearnel Charles Jr, has covered their bases in ensuring voters will be protected.

“All vehicles will have masks, sanitisers, and no more than four persons at any one time will be transported,” he said, adding that when they arrive at their polling divisions, someone will be at the gate to again sanitise those entering the premises, plus they will be provided with raincoats, in the event it is needed.

SANITISATION

Mitchell said all vehicles will be sanitised after every trip and sanitised wheelchairs will be available for those who need it. Elderly voters, he said, will be picked up one at a time and taken back to their homes.

Mitchell said he will repeat the assurances as much as it is necessary, to reassure voters about the steps being taken to keep them safe. He reminded persons that there will be no gathering of persons at the voting stations.

Patricia Duncan Sutherland, who is seeking to dethrone Charles Jr in the constituency, said her team on the ground is mobilised to practise safety measures and they have been calling persons who are going to come out and vote.

“For persons who are older, we are making sure that the drivers that we have are equipped with sanitisers to sanitise the cars before picking them up. Extra masks and special arrangements are also being made for them,” she shared with The Gleaner.

Duncan Sutherland said she is anticipating the voter turnout to be lower as there are some people who, no matter what, if they believe they are at risk, they are not going to come out and vote.

“It is a very tenuous time to have an election ... in the middle of a pandemic. However, since we are not the ones with the power to call the election, and since it has been called, we just have to do our part to make sure it as safe as possible for all to come out and vote,” she said.